Patterson Park

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Patterson Park
Patterson Park Observatory Bmore.JPG
The "Observatory" a pagoda-style building on Hampstead Hill, overlooking the rest of the park
Type Public park
Location Baltimore, Maryland

Patterson Park is an urban park in Southeast Baltimore, Maryland, United States, adjacent to the neighborhoods of Canton, Highlandtown, Patterson Park, and Butchers Hill. It is bordered by East Baltimore Street, Eastern Avenue, South Patterson Park Avenue, and South Linwood Avenue. The Patterson Park extension lies to the east of the main park, and is bordered by East Pratt Street, South Ellwood Avenue, and Eastern Avenue.

Urban park park in a city or other incorporated place

An urban park or metropolitan park, also known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space, or municipal gardens (UK), is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, and visitors to, the municipality. The design, operation and maintenance is usually done by government agencies, typically on the local level, but may occasionally be contracted out to a park conservancy, friends of group, or private sector company.

Maryland State of the United States of America

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. It is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary.

Canton, Baltimore Neighborhood of Baltimore in Maryland, United States

Canton is a historic waterfront neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The neighborhood is along Baltimore's outer harbor in the southeastern section of the city, roughly two miles east of Baltimore's downtown district and next to or near the neighborhoods of Patterson Park, Fell's Point, Highlandtown, and Brewers Hill.


Patterson Park was established in 1827 and named for William Patterson (1752–1835). The park consists of open fields of grass, large trees, paved walkways, historic battle sites, a lake, playgrounds, athletic fields, a swimming pool, and other signature attractions and buildings. [1] At 137 acres (0.55 km2), Patterson Park is not the city's largest park, however it is nicknamed "Best Backyard in Baltimore." [2]

William Patterson was a businessman, a gun-runner during the American Revolution, and a founder of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. His many business dealings included shipping, banking, and the Baltimore Water Company.

Attractions and activities

A view of downtown Baltimore across Patterson Park Patterson Park.jpg
A view of downtown Baltimore across Patterson Park

Patterson Park has four main entrances at each corner. Its notable attractions include the boat lake (where fishing is permitted), the marble fountain, the Pulaski Monument, and The Patterson Park Pagoda [3] [4] Originally the Patterson Park Observatory, the Pagoda was built in 1891 as an observation tower for viewing the city and is still open to visitors today. [5] The park is also home to the Virginia S. Baker Recreation Center. [6] [7]

Casimir Pulaski Polish nobleman, general in the American Revolutionary War

Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski of Ślepowron was a Polish nobleman, soldier and military commander who has been called, together with his counterpart Michael Kovats de Fabriczy, "the father of the American cavalry".

Virginia S. Baker was an American civil servant and employee of the Department of Recreation and Parks in Baltimore City, Maryland, U.S. She was known by a number of nicknames, such as Queenie, Queen of Fun, Baltimore's First Lady of Fun, "queen of the hill", and "Baltimore's oldest kid". In 1984, the recreation center in Patterson Park was named the Virginia S. Baker Recreation Center to honor Baker's years of service to the center and to the children of Baltimore.

The park has smooth pathways suitable for biking and jogging. The sports fields are open for use to anyone who wants to play a game, and there are public tennis courts as well. [2] [8] There are two playgrounds for children [9] as well as a fenced-in dog park. [10] There is a swimming pool open during the summer [8] and an ice skating rink that operates during winter. [11] From spring to early autumn, several festivals are held in the park. [12] The neighborhood surrounding the park is part of an innovative urban renewal campaign by the city and neighborhood leaders. [13]

Festival Organised series of acts and performances

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.

Urban renewal Land redevelopment in cities

Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal is the clearing out of blighted areas in inner cities to clear out slums and create opportunities for higher class housing, businesses, and more.


General Casimir Pulaski Monument Pulaski-Szmurlo.jpg
General Casimir Pulaski Monument

There are no heavily forested areas of Patterson Park; however, there are plenty of open spaces. The boat lake, recently reconstructed, is inhabited mostly by mallard ducks, but its avian visitors include American coots and wood ducks. Great blue herons and great egrets are occasionally seen on the lake. There are also fish, frogs, and turtles in the lake.

American coot species of bird

The American coot, also known as a mud hen, is a bird of the family Rallidae. Though commonly mistaken for ducks, American coots are only distantly related to ducks, belonging to a separate order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land. Coots live near water, typically inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies in North America. Groups of coots are called covers or rafts. The oldest known coot lived to be 22 years old.

Great blue heron species of bird

The great blue heron is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found only in south Florida and the Florida Keys is known as the great white heron. Debate exists about whether it is a white color morph of the great blue heron, a subspecies of it, or an entirely separate species.

Great egret species of bird

The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water.


The high ground at the northwest corner of Patterson Park, called Hampstead Hill, was the key defensive position for U.S. forces against British ground forces in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. The redoubt was known as Rodgers Bastion, or Sheppard's Bastion, and was the centerpiece of the earthen line dug to defend the eastern approach to Baltimore, from the outer harbor in Canton north to Belair Road. On September 13, 1814, the day after the Battle of North Point, some 4,300 British troops advanced north on North Point Road, then west along the Philadelphia Road toward Baltimore, forcing U.S. troops to retreat to the defensive line. When the British began probing actions, the American line was defended by 100 cannon and more than 10,000 troops. The American defenses were far stronger than anticipated, and U.S. defenders at Fort McHenry successfully stopped British naval forces from advancing close enough to lend artillery support, and British attempts to flank the defense were countered. Thus, before dawn on September 14, 1814, British commander Colonel Arthur Brooke decided the land campaign was a lost cause, and ordered the retreat back to the ships, and the United States was thus victorious in the Battle of Baltimore. [14] [15] [16]

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Battle of Baltimore War of 1812 battle

The Battle of Baltimore was a sea/land battle fought between British invaders and American defenders in the War of 1812. American forces repulsed sea and land invasions off the busy port city of Baltimore, Maryland, and killed the commander of the invading British forces. The British and Americans first met at North Point. Though the Americans retreated, the battle was a successful delaying action that inflicted heavy casualties on the British, halting their advance consequently allowing the defenders at Baltimore to properly prepare for an attack.

William Patterson (d. 1835), a Baltimore merchant, donated 5 acres (20,000 m2) to the city for a public walk in 1827, and the city purchased 29 acres (120,000 m2) additional from the Patterson family in 1860. [17] Additions and improvements to the park made after 1859 were funded through the city's "park tax" on its streetcars, which was initially set at 20% of the fare. [18] During the Civil War, the site was used as a Union troop encampment. Additional purchases in later years increased the park size to its present 137 acres (0.55 km2). The 60-foot (18 m) Pagoda, designed by Charles H. Latrobe, [19] was built on Hampstead Hill in 1891 [20] and has been refurbished along with other park structures.

Several public accommodations at the park such as the swimming pools, picnic pavilions, and playgrounds were managed as "separate but equal" until they were desegregated in 1956. [21] The park is included in the Baltimore National Heritage Area. [22]

On October 10th, 1962 President Kennedy visited Baltimore and landed in his helicopter at the park and took an open top car to the 5th Regiment Armory. [23] He was in town prior to the midterm elections to stump for the Democratic ticket.

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Benjamin Henry Latrobe British-American architect

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Patterson Park (neighborhood), Baltimore human settlement in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

Patterson Park is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The neighborhood is located in the southeast section of Baltimore city and borders the 137 acre park of the same name on the north and east sides. Patterson Park is traditionally centered on the intersection of Baltimore Street and Linwood Avenue and until the formation of Patterson Park Neighborhood Association in 1986 was referred to as the Baltimore-Linwood Neighborhood. The original borders of Patterson Park neighborhood were Pratt Street to the south, Fayette Street to the north, Milton Street to the west and Clinton Street to the east, but in 2011 the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association voted to expand the northern border to Orleans Street between Milton and Curley Street.

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  1. Harnik, Peter (2002), The Best Backyard in Baltimore (PDF), Washington, DC: The Trust for Public Land Center for City Park Excellence, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  2. 1 2 Collins, Dan (18 Dec 2008), "Patterson Park: Best backyard in Baltimore", Washington Examiner, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  3. Almaguer 2006, p. 37, 42, 111.
  4. "Pulaski Monument", The Baltimore Sun, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  5. Taylor, Barbara Haddock (28 Feb 2014), "Patterson Park Pagoda: Asian influence in Southeast Baltimore", The Baltimore Sun, retrieved 29 Mar 2016
  6. Almaguer, Tim (2006). Baltimore's Patterson Park: Images of America series. Charleston, SC:Arcadia Publishing. p. 107. ISBN   978-0-7385-4365-9.
  7. Virginia Baker Recreation Center, Friends of Patterson Park, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  8. 1 2 Kelly, Jacques (7 Aug 2015), "Patterson Park buzzes with activity in the summer", The Baltimore Sun, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  9. "Places in the Park: Playgrounds", Friends of Patterson Park, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  10. "Patterson Park opens new dog park", WBAL-TV Baltimore, 17 Dec 2012, retrieved 29 Mar 2016
  11. Salinas, Sara (17 June 2015), "Patterson Park redesign would eliminate Mimi DiPietro ice rink", Baltimore Business Journal, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  12. Community Events, Friends of Patterson Park, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  13. Patterson Park, City Parks Alliance, 2016, retrieved 30 Mar 2016
  14. Google Books Scenes In The War Of 1812, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 28, March 1864, page 433-449
  15. The Battle of Baltimore, Kevin Young, Ft. Meade Soundoff, 9/1/05
  16. 1812 Overtures, Brennen Jensen, Baltimore City Paper, 9/22/99
  17. Almaguer 2006, p. 9, 29.
  18. Farrell, Michael R. (1992). The History of Baltimore's Streetcars. Sykesville, MD: Greenberg Publishing Co. pp. 4–6, 23, 139–40. ISBN   0-89778-283-6.
  19. "Latrobe, Charles H. (1833–1902) -- Philadelphia Architects and Buildings". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  20. Dorsey, John & Dilts, James D., Guide to Baltimore Architecture (1997) p. 201-2. Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, Maryland ISBN   0-87033-477-8
  21. Almaguer 2006, p. 68.
  22. "Baltimore National Heritage Area Map" (PDF). City of Baltimore. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  23. Tom (2013-11-12). "Kennedy Visits Patterson Park in '62". Ghosts of Baltimore. Retrieved 2019-03-04.

Coordinates: 39°17′22″N76°34′48″W / 39.28931°N 76.57990°W / 39.28931; -76.57990